WHAT IS FOC or FREE OF CHARGE?
FOC, which translates as “Free of Charge”, is a term frequently used in the travel industry to describe additional services that do not generate an additional charge for the customer. This concept is applied in a variety of situations and contributes to enhancing the customer experience and fostering loyalty.
One of the most common examples of FOC services is the upgrade to a higher room category. This practice is implemented for promotional purposes, as an added value for the customer.
These free upgrades may be linked to loyalty programmes, where regular customers receive additional benefits as a gesture of appreciation for their loyalty. In addition, these services are often also used as part of complaint management to compensate for inconveniences or to handle situations where there is overbooking in lower room categories.
Other instances of FOC services include free access to services such as Wi-Fi in hotels, which has become almost a standard expectation for guests. Also, in the field of public relations and promotion, free FAM trips are offered to journalists or press tours to publicise and promote tourist destinations.
Therefore, its implementation not only has a positive impact on customer satisfaction, but can also be an effective strategy to differentiate an accommodation’s offer, improve its reputation and strengthen the relationship with customers.
Finally, remember that this practice contributes to creating more pleasant and memorable experiences for travellers.
WHAT IS FAM TRIP OR FAMILIARISATION?
The term “FAM” stands for “Familiarisation”. Tours, commonly known as FAM Trips, are trips organised by tourism service providers, such as tour operators, airlines, hotel chains, tourist boards and other Destination Marketing Organisations (DMOs), for the purpose of educating about and promoting their products and services.
These trips are designed primarily for those involved in selling and promoting specific products, properties or destinations. Typically, participants are travel agencies, travel media representatives such as writers, journalists and bloggers, along with other key industry players and partners.
The main objectives of this type of trip are raising awareness of the products or destinations in question and, at the same time, networking and building strong relationships. In essence, these trips are critical for the hospitality industry, because if a travel agency knows and appreciates a property (and its location), it is more likely to book its clients in that specific location.
Importantly, FAM Trips are often offered for free, FOC or at significantly reduced rates. This practice allows participants to experience the facilities and services first-hand, which in turn influences their recommendations and booking decisions.
Free or discounted fares make these trips attractive and accessible to those who wish to explore and fully understand the tourism offerings presented during the Fam Trip.
WHAT IS A CRS or CENTRAL RESERVATION SYSTEM?
A CRS, which stands for Central Reservation System, is a type of computer programme designed to edit and update a hotel’s inventory and rate information. Its primary function is to allow hoteliers to efficiently manage and process reservations in real time.
Bookings through a CRS are handled through a wide variety of distribution channels, including third-party booking websites, direct online booking engines, global distribution systems (GDS) and wholesalers, among others. A CRS acts as a centralised hub that collects information from the Hotel Management Systems (PMS), distribution channels and telephone reservation systems used at one or more properties.
In real time, the CRS transfers booking information from the PMS to the various distribution channels, allowing hotels to reach guests through multiple channels according to their distribution strategy.
This platform enables room allocation management for individual hotels, multi-property groups and hotel chains. It therefore becomes an essential tool for managers who want a single source for managing strategies involving multiple channels and properties.
Revenue managers can respond quickly to market demand and adjust prices, while front desk managers can create reservations and allocate rooms from a single data source. Guests can also access offers from different properties centrally.
A CRS is therefore crucial for implementing a diversified distribution strategy, increasing Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR) and ensuring operational efficiency for both independent hotels and hotel chains. In short, it is a comprehensive tool for effective reservation management and optimisation of the hotel operation.